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Stomach cancer

Stomach cancer screening

Painting by David : Emperor Napoléon

1) Localisation, growth: stomach cancer develops from the stomach wall, in any part of the organ, spreading throughout the stomach and to other organs (liver, colon, pancreas), to nearby lymph nodes, to lungs, ovaries. It is generally preceded by chronic gastritis, then becoming pre-cancerous tissue (dysplasia).

2) Distribution: known since Antiquity. The most famous victim was probably the Emperor Napoleon. This is a cancer of "civilised" countries, directly linked to diet, it's rare in countries with low calories eating habits. The most exposed countries are Japan, China, and far East.
25 000 cases per year in the US, with 14 000 deaths per year. Decreasing since recent years : by 50% in the last 40 years.

3) Risk factors: Stomach cancer is rare before age 50. The median age is 70. Women are less affected than men (1 to 3).

This cancer is favoured by food factors that are linked to food conservation: salt, nitrates because they are transformed to nitrites. A bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, is also involved in triggering this cancer. Vegetables and fruits have a protective role. Preserving food by refrigeration (instead of salt, as in the old days), and decreased salted meat consumption can explain the decreasing incidence of this cancer.

4) Symptoms:
- pain or discomfort in high or medium abdomen; indigestion;
- weight loss ; weakness, fatigue;
- anemia, vomiting blood, nausea and vomiting. Blood in stool, due to bleeding tumor.

5) Diagnosis of stomach cancer:
- gastroscopy, ultrasound, scanner;
- endoscopy for direct stomach exam, with biopsies;
- and tumor marker assays : CEA, CA 19-9, and above all the outstanding CA 72-4.
The most effective strategy includes :
1) ultrafast EBT body scanner, EBT better than more common spiral CT scans because extremely low radiation, (as performed by our partners :
-"Colorado Heart & Body Imaging", CO, Denver, USA,,
-"Lifescore", CA, San Diego, USA,,
-and the "Monaco Life Check Center", Monaco,, EBT combines low radiation, high speed and high resolution to create unique pictures of the head, neck, chest and abdomen),
2) and cancer check-up blood test CancersafeŽtest.

6) Treatment of stomach cancer: because it is rarely discovered at an early stage, the prognosis of this cancer is bad.
- surgery: gastrectomy: it depends on the size, the location, the spread, the stage of the tumor; and the patient's general state. This gastrectomy is total or partial.
- radiation (when the tumor cannot be removed surgically); also used to relieve pain and blockage, as palliative treatment.
- chemotherapy, immunotherapy.

7) Follow-up: after treatment, tumor marker dosages, in order to follow the evolution of their rates.

8) Prevention:
- low salt diets;
- peptic ulcer monitoring;
- Helicobacter pylori eradication;
- tumor marker dosages : in particular the CA 72-4, and CEA and CA 19-9.

The above-mentioned tumor markers are part of the CancersafeŽ test ; performing this panel once a year is highly recommended.

Cancer can be detected : do it NOW.

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